Let me start out by being honest! When I first was asked to participate in a “Stretch Yourself” Challenge, I freaked out a bit. Yes! When I think of “stretching myself,” I think of something else I have to do that I don’t have time for.
Now, this particular challenge is to work on my own business. And, yes, I know it sounds strange to say I don’t have time for that. But, when you are a service provider it can be hard to concentrate on what will make you money instead of making your clients money.
I decided to think back to a time when I really stretched myself and was scared to death. However, I wanted to think back to something that helped me grow and change for the better! That time was 2007 and white water rafting!
White Water Rafting with 35 Teen-aged Girls
In 2007 I was asked to be the camp director over a church camp in Chattanooga, Tennessee. One of my responsibilities was planning a high adventure for 35, 16-17-year-old girls. I wanted to know what they wanted to do for the adventure. They talked about how the Boy Scouts always got to go white water rafting but they never got to. It was something they really wanted to do.
First of all, you need to know that I am a desert rat! I was raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico where there is NO water. We get 7 inches of rain in a year (if we’re lucky). I never learned how to swim. And to this day, I am not a strong swimmer. However, I decided to not let that bother me. My thinking was, “Well, one of the other leaders can always go.”
I worked VERY hard and got the trip approved for these 35 girls. They were very excited! Then the real stretching began! We had to have a certain number of adult leaders and all the girls wanted me to go. My head was screaming, “NO! I have three small children! They need their mother! I don’t want to die!” These sweet girls wanted me to go because I worked so hard to get it approved.
I really struggled with it! I really was scared to death! “What if one of the girls gets hurt? What if I drown? What if I fall out of the boat and smack into a big rock?”
The first thing I did was to pray for help. Then, I picked leaders to come that knew why I was afraid and how to support me. They didn’t make fun of me or belittle me, they supported me! I told them my fears and they helped me overcome them. I surrounded myself with good uplifting people.
I Went White Water Rafting and Lived!
The day finally came! And yes, I overcame my fear and stretched myself. This picture is of me literally stretching myself and getting into the boat!
One of the great things about being the leader is you get to ride in the last raft with the best white water guide. I didn’t know at the time. That way I was able to keep an eye on all the boats ahead of me to make sure that none of the girls floated away.
And you know what, after all the planning and stretching, I had a great time! The girls and leaders had a great time! Every single one of us was stretching ourselves. That was the whole point of doing a high adventure.
Stretch Yourself Challenge
This month I am participating in a challenge that helps me stretch myself in my business. Is it as scary as white water rafting? In some ways, yes! I have not been that great about promoting my own expertise and experience. I am really good at promoting and talking about the value other people can bring to someone’s business. However, I am not good at talking about my own value.
Kelly McCausey and the other participants are supporting me in this challenge. You’re going to see some new blog posts from me. And, some other surprises! I would love for you to join me! Just click here to learn more!
What are some things you have done to stretch yourself? Something that takes you or has taken you outside of your comfort zone?
What a great experience! The challenge sounds amazing. Thank you for sharing!
Thank you Cathryn, it was!
Samantha Angel says
I can completely relate to putting your client work above your own projects. As service providers that’s how we bring home the bacon. But I’m right here along side you stretching and growing into my business! Kudos for jumping into the challenge! 🙂
Joyce Dias says
Oh my Goodness! I totally understand your fear of whitewater rafting… I learned to swim as an adult and my survival instinct caused me to swim within the hour! LOL! Hats off to you for proceeding to stretch yourself beyond your fear!
Joyce, at least now I’m really good at doggie paddling 🙂
Melissa Brown says
This story reminds me of white water rafting in Costa Rica years ago. I almost didn’t survive! I fell out of the boat headfirst and I don’t swim. Luckily my husband grabbed me by my feet and managed to hang on to me to eventually pull me back in. He was an avid white water rafter and was making annual trips on the Gauley River in West Virginia when they had a dam release every year so he was a seasoned rafter. I believed him when he picked this excursion in Costa Rica and said it would be a breeze. I told him never again after that! 😱
Good for you Luanna for stretching with the rafting trip and for stretching with the Stretch Yourself Challenge!
How scary Melissa! I don’t know if I would have ever gotten in the water again after that!
Stephanie Watson says
I totally relate to the service provider part! I know you will be so glad you did this challenge. I know when I have participated in the past it’s always paid off and been something I’m happy to have done. You’re going to rock it!
Rosie Battista says
My Dad threw us into the pool when we were little. It was so natural to me and my younger sisters that I had no idea that so many people never learned to swim. This is a great story Joyce and you’re quite brave. I’m never been white water rafting and I don’t think its on my list!
Rosie, I am one and done with white water rafting!
Teresa Miller says
Such a great story, and you tell it very well. I love seeing your pictures of your adventure too.
Albuquerque holds a special place in my heart because that’s where I met and married my husband and where our son was born. So that makes you sort of like family. 🙂
I’ve never been white water rafting, but I went ziplining with my sisters last summer, and believe me, when you’re scared of heights, that’s a BIG stretch. So good job for conquering that fear.
Teresa, zip lining is not on my bucket list 🙂
Wow! And here I was anxious earlier this summer when I ended up in a kayak for the first time in nearly 30 years for a trip down a river with no white water or even serious ripples in sight. Your adventure was a much bigger stretch indeed! But it seems to have carried over in confidence down the years. Glad you’re stretching again to push your business forward.
Tish Lee says
Lu, my sweet, somewhat shy friend… I had NO clue you had ever been whitewater rafting. Now that is AWESOME and I loved that you shared this experience. One of the things I’ve learned, as I continue to stretch myself, is to think back on the things I have previously done that scared me and stretched me but I felt so amazing and empowered after finishing them. That drives me to keep doing more. And boy oh boy do I ever know what you mean when you said ” Now, this particular challenge is to work on my own business. And, yes, I know it sounds strange to say I don’t have time for that. But, when you are a service provider it can be hard to concentrate on what will make you money instead of making your clients money.” Yep, I’m in the same boat – pay bills with client work or make time to focus on my biz and my passion to do more of what I want in the world. Kudos to you for choosing YOU and YOUR biz 🙂
Thank you, Tishia!
Kristin Lohmeyer says
What an amazing experience!!! I love how you said you surrounded yourself with uplifting people who supported you and helped you through your fear! That is one of the biggest keys to our success – finding a group of people that will guide and help and love on you through it all….that’s why I love this challenge and this community so much! Congrats on working through your fears and stretching!!!
Exactly, Kristi! That’s why I love Kelly’s community!
Karin Crompton says
I love the photo of you getting into the raft! Powerful image when you know the backstory. Congrats on all you did on that trip, and good luck in the challenge!
Shannon Smith says
Oh, man! I have tears in my eyes. What an incredible story of pushing and stretching yourself.
Luuuuuuu! I love you 🙂
Having you stretching with us is such a joy – and I’m constantly surprised by you!
When you’re shy and other people start to peg you as a ‘quiet person’ it can almost start to feel like a box you have to stay in – but you DON’T! (Like when you went to Hamburger Mary’s with us! LOL!)
Keep on stretching gal!
Luanna — that’s quite the story and that took a tremendous amount of courage. It’s interesting to see where we are and how we feel before and after an experience. I’m so happy for your stretch to go white-water rafting. It’s looks so exciting, but I’ve never done it. Perhaps in the future!
Benecia Ponder says
I have more to to try white water rafting for a few years but have been too afraid to try it. Maybe next summer… I would I love your story. The picture of you getting in the boat is so symbolic of what all of us need to do when it comes to stretching outside of our comfort zone. We have to get in the boat and take that 1st step. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.
Kat Sturtz says
Oh, Luanna, it’s amazing how far we can stretch our self-imposed limits when we embrace the fear rather let it stop us. Thanks for sharing your inspiring story.
Brook Packard says
I’m most impressed you tackled a trip with 35 teenage girls! Astonishing! The challenges you’ve met are reaping huge rewards. Thank you for this story.
Ruth Bowers says
What an amazing experience! I’d love to try white water rafting sometime.
I look forward to learning more about you and your business during the challenge.
Elizabeth A Hughes-Callison says
Isn’t it amazing what we can do when we embrace our fear and let go? I not sure I could have done what you did, but I am embracing my fear now.
Claudette Chenevert says
Luanna, I loved your story. I too have done white water rafting after I had sworn to never do any of that insane stuff. I have my 16 year old niece spend two weeks with us, where she could ask to do whatever she wanted -within reason of course. She had never been to the ocean or white water rafting and these two things were on the very top of her list.
I couldn’t let her go on her own and so, I went with her SCREAMING the entire time.
I will same that I’me very proud of myself as I’m sure you are too.
I think once we’ve done this kind of activity, there is not much we can’t do.
Looking forward in seeing your challenges and cheering you on.
Ack! You are SO Brave! I would have been thinking about my children, too! So glad you are part of the Stretch Challenge – thanks for sharing your story, very inspirational 🙂
Well, you got yourself into a big time challenge didn’t you? I had a similar experience and for me it wasn’t that I finished the trip but that I had overcome my fear. Surviving the trip was a bonus. Keep stretching.
I LOVE this story, Luann! It takes me back to a time when I participated in a charity skydiving event. I was utterly terrified, but it ended up being an awesome experience. Isn’t it amazing how great life can be when we set aside our fears for a greater purpose?
Well done, Luanna.
I’m so glad that you overcome your fears and made it happen for these girls.
The one important point I will keep in mind is how you admitted your fears and asked for help to people who were really there for you.
Wonderful story! Thank you for sharing.
So much excitement happening here! White water rafting is cool, but I may have geeked out a little when you said you’ll have a new website coming along, to me the two are equally exciting :-p I look forward to seeing what you do with the challenges this month and seeing your new website project take shape.
White Water Rafting, that has always looked like so much fun and so terrifying at the same time. I’m gonna take some baby steps and go paddle boating.
Lynn Leusch says
Wow! This is .a great example of stretching outside of our comfort zones. Though I have taken many steps and challenges outside of my comfort zone and lived through them…I’m not sure I’m quite ready to take on the adventure that you shared here. For me the lesson, is when we are ready to take on a new challenge that scares us and have a great support system in place and are ready to ask for help…ANYTHING is possible. Inspiring story.
Julie Van De Wyngaerde says
I can relate to having fear around white water rafting! I’ve done some, but I’d love to raft the Colorado River through the Grand Canyon.
I can’t imagine being responsible for 35 girls on top of facing the white rapids. You were brave! Thank you for sharing your story and inspiring me to face some of my own fears!
Val Selby says
I’m so glad you went out of your comfort zone and joined the challenge!
You will be so proud when you look back at all the changes that will happen for you in September ❤
Carol Bremner says
I appreciated your point about surrounding yourself with good, uplifting people who knew what your fears were and could help you through them.
WOW! What an amazing challenge you faced. I know that white water rafting is not a challenge I would want to do, however, like you I have joined in Kelly’s Stretch Yourself Challenge and am looking forward to seeing how I will be stretched by the end of the month. Again, WOW!